Woodstock sinks into sexual ethics in America

Back in 1969, the same year as Woodstock, Gallup Poll researchers asked Americans this moral question: "Do you think it is wrong for a man and a woman to have sexual relations before marriage, or not?""Yes, wrong," responded 68 percent of those polled, while 21 percent said, "No, not wrong."By 1973, the traditionalist camp affirming that premarital sex was wrong was down to 47 percent and the minority of those disagreeing rose to 43 percent. In 1991, only 40 percent considered premarital … [Read more...]

Young, gay and faithfully Catholic

Gay activist Dan Savage went straight for the jugular in his recent remarks on bullying at a national conference for high-school journalists.The problem, he said, is the Bible.To state the matter in terms that can be used in family newspapers, the sex-advice columnist repeatedly proclaimed that the Bible contains far too much bovine excrement."People often point out that they can't help ... with the anti-gay bullying, because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in … [Read more...]

Cohabitation, Confession, Communion

For generations, people in pews knew what to call it when folks "shacked up" before marriage -- "living in sin.""Sin" is a harder word to use, today.The Catholic archbishop of Santa Fe, N.M., recently raised eyebrows with a mere letter reminding his flock that cohabitation is a grave sin that Catholics must take to confession or there will be eternal consequences. Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan's priests read his sobering words from their pulpits on April 3, the fourth Sunday of Lent -- the … [Read more...]

B16 challenges his bishops

The headlines and dramatic photos rush by during a papal visit, framing the sound bites that journalists uncover in stacks of Vatican speech texts.So Pope Benedict XVI visited the White House and proclaimed "God bless America!" Then he noted that, in this culture of radical individualism, "Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility."The former theology professor, speaking to Catholic college leaders, enthusiastically embraced academic freedom. Then he stressed that … [Read more...]

Gallup, statistics and discipleship

George Gallup Jr. has been studying the numbers for a half century and nobody knows better than he does that they just don't add up.Most of the familiar, comforting statistics that describe public religion remain remarkably stable from poll to poll. Somewhere around 86 percent of Americans say they believe in God and another 8 percent or so in a "higher power" of some kind. Sixty percent say faith is "very important" in daily life and another 15 percent say it's "fairly important."In the typical … [Read more...]


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